Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Dangerous Oasis of Consumer Technology

            Up until now, there have been certain assumptions made in this column about how humans become robots.  People experience sensory distortion living in modern technological environments.  This sensory distortion is created by the vacuum and tension pocket fields of experience in which they live.  Vast expanses of understimulating vacuum filled with overstimulating pockets of bundles of abrasive disconnected clashing figures.  In modern technological environments, the grounding created by nature and traditional living environments was gradually lost as were the organic stimuli that people were built to absorb.  In the human march to control nature in order to fight back against organic perishability, people increasingly lost the opportunity to commune with nature.  Initially creating vacuum environments was synonymous with creating safe environments: modern architecture and sterile minimalistic interiors and frictionless machine operations.  Increasingly, as people have started to feel more and more numb in vacuum environments, they have tried to purposely create certain overstimulating tension pocket experiences to pull out of the numbness: venues with loud abrasive electric guitar music and strobe lights, motorcycles and racing cars as well as free love and certain recreational drugs like coke,speed and heroin.  And when people have felt too overstimulated they would always bounce back to a vacuum experience of their own creation: white noise machines, yoga, meditation and other drugs like pot and downers.  People could bounce back and forth between these two extremes in a vain attempt to achieve some kind of greater stimulus balance of the kind that humans had when they were still living closer to nature and in more traditional living environments.

            Another major way that a person could achieve that balance of stimulation was to use technology to directly create an experience with more of a sensory balance: namely the screen reality experiences of movies, television, video games, computers, smartphones and tablets.  Also, the experience of robots.  A robot was able to survive the sensory extremes of the modern technology external world reality in which it existed by living off of the technological stimulation that surrounded it. By absorbing both the defined discrete stimuli of the electricity upon which it operated and the seeming lack of stimuli which, in truth, is the infinity vacuum stimuli from when the electricity turns off.  And the robot expresses itself with defined discrete angular activity when it’s moving, alternating with vacuum pauses, sometimes just micropauses, when it switches direction, intensity or activity.

            Again there was an assumption in my model that people started to unconsciously imitate robots as a way of dealing with the sensory distortion that came from overstimulating tension pockets and/or an understimulating vacuum.  But recently I have come to realize that not all modern technological living environments are plagued by sensory extremes.  They have enough of a balance between vacuum spaces and free-floating figures to provide an intensity of stimulation that approximates the intensity to be found in most traditional more natural living environments.

            In particular, in talking about these more sensorily balanced modern technological living environments, I am not talking about a living environment where people physically immerse themselves in an external world reality living environment.  Instead, I am talking about technological living environments in which people immerse themselves mentally.  In other words, I am talking about screen reality living environments: movie theaters, televisions, video games, computers, smartphones and tablets.  With computers, smartphones and tablets, we have the numbing vacuum effects of the mediating screen balanced out by the abrasive stimulation of the large bundles of data and information, the violence web sites and the pornography.  The screen in the screen reality provides a constant base (I can’t really call it a grounding that bonds).  The content that appears on the screen provides a vacuumized narrative of free-floating figures interacting and clashing with one another and unfolding and transforming sometimes by themselves and sometimes as a result of the interaction with the viewer/participant human.  But because the combination of the screen and the content provides an intensity level of stimulation that is comfortable and somewhat more easily absorbable than the patterns of stimuli normally found in the technological external world, people become addicted to their screens.

            The major problem with these more advanced modern technological living microenvironments provided by screen reality equipment is to be found not in the intensity of stimulation that they provide, but rather in the quality of stimulation they provide.  The problem is that there is a paucity of the flowing blendable continual stimuli, organic stimuli, necessary to keep people functioning properly as animals.  Without these flowing blendable continual stimuli from natural sources, people absorb the balance of defined discrete stimuli and infinite vacuum stimuli in their technological living environments and gradually start to mold themselves after the technological complex behavioral entities that surround them – the computers and the robots.

Again, this is the result of feeling a need to escape the sensory extremes of the modern technological external world and cling to the oasis of a balanced technological model, leading to a gradual imitation of the complex behavioral entities – the computers and the robots – that humans today see as a solution to the problem of the sensory distortion provided by the modern technological external living environments.

However, escaping sensory distortion is only one of the reasons that humans today model themselves after computers and robots.  Another is that there are few if any positive sources of organic stimuli, of flowing blendable continual stimuli to move towards.  So people simply gravitate towards the one category of sensorily balance experience that is available: the sources of screen reality.

If we want to fight robotization, we have to find a way for people to be able to experience more different sources of organic stimuli.  So they can gradually start to pull away more from the negative influences of all the different sources of screen reality.

© 2019 Laurence Mesirow

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